However, there will always be at least one negative review in the mix, and this time it isn't coming from Armond White, but from Marshall Fine of Hollywood and Fine, a site which is currently down, either for maintenance or avoidance of negative outlash. Any review where comparisons are made to "Transformers" is bound to get a certain amount of hostility, but given the overeager excitement that has been ballooning over the past several weeks, Fine got special treatment. Users over at Rotten Tomatoes took to the comment boards with their outrage, as they often do, in defense of the film. Defense, in this case, is wishing that Fine's site be pummeled into the ground, and pushing death threats upon him.
The reactions ranged from simply Bane quotes from the film to more serious and "original" shots, such as wishing Fine would "die in a fire" or be beaten "with a thick rubber hose into a coma." Rotten Tomatoes has enforced their policy to get rid of the comments, but not before they made their impact. They'll rather likely continue to make such an impact, with plenty people still rising to the comment boards with hateful remarks. Many have risen to Marshall Fine's defense, with plenty people feeling sorry for him, myself included. At the same time, I stand in inexplicable awe of the gamble he's made in publishing such a firmly negative review.
In respects to "The Dark Knight Rises", the film now has the misfortune of having several critics now prepped to walk into it with a bad taste in their mouths after the loyal Batman fans have skyrocketed Marshall Fine's review in the public eye. The film is currently standing with a majority of ecstatic reviews, but will it hold or will it plummet? I have a tendency to expect something of the former, and if it turns out that way, I will be genuinely disappointed. Some people already are, but such is the nature of being a film critic. Just as films like "The Dark Knight" will stun across the board in ways we could not have expected, others can fail to live up to expectations.
In respects to the ardent fans of Batman, I can only express a deep need to distance myself as far as possible from their ranks. Fandom in general, in fact, is reaching a gross and disgusting turning point, especially considering the kinds of films they are in support of. They are, for the most part, about selfless individuals who risk their lives for the betterment and freedom of humanity. In Nolan's "Batman" trilogy, it's so that Gotham's citizens don't find themselves lowered to the morally contemptuous act that took the life of Bruce's own parents. It's rather ironic, not to mention demoralizing, that the fans who feed the still inflating hype of the film are partaking in such similar acts of public hatred.
I refrain judgment on the film until I have seen it. Until then I don't have an opinion. Marshall Fine has seen the film. In all its simplicity, he has an opinion that he has every right to gloat about as anyone else.